Heat pumps and EVs could become central to everyday life within a decade


Research published by UK Power Networks suggests that by 2030 there could be over 700,000 electric heat pumps across London, the East and South East, as well as up to 4.5 million EVs.

These are among 1.6 million forecast data points published by the company, in its 2021 Distribution Future Energy Scenarios research about how low carbon technologies could be taken up in future. It maps four different potential ‘scenario worlds’ up to 2050 with bespoke regional modelling and data analysis provided by energy consultancy Element Energy.

One scenario suggests more than 3,000% growth in electric vehicles and a 2,500% rise in domestic heat pumps by 2030, which would keep the UK on track to reach its target of Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050 and be a clear sign of a green recovery.

Another scenario sees slowing economic growth but still results in a quarter of a million household solar panels being installed, aggregate grid scale battery storage capacity more than double that of the UK’s largest nuclear power station, and a move towards a zero carbon hydrogen gas grid.

Prices of electric vehicles continuing to fall, along the government’s ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars in 2030, could accelerate sales of new electric vehicles and vans. A more ambitious ‘Leading the Way’ scenario reaches Net Zero carbon emissions two years early, by 2048. It predicts 4.2 million fewer cars overall on roads than the other scenarios as more people choose to use public transport. It also experiences a much faster roll out of heat pumps, reaching 1.2 million electric heat pumps in UK Power Networks’ areas by 2030.

Sul Alli, director of customer services, strategy and regulation at UK Power Networks, said, “The Government’s 10 Point Plan has signalled an acceleration of the UK’s transition to a net zero carbon economy. By understanding how the future might look, we can innovate, plan, prepare and invest strategically to make our network ready for net zero.”

The 2021 DFES – an update on the company’s first energy scenarios launched in 2020 – also includes the company’s first interactive map built in partnership with Open Data Institute Leeds.

View the DFES 2021 documents, forecast data and map here:https://innovation.ukpowernetworks.co.uk/2021/01/11/distribution-future-energy-scenarios-2021/


  1. EV’s must have off road parking if you have an EV car, Thousands will not be able to Charge their car from home. Most will have to have Hybrid cars using Petrol or Diesel fuel to charge their car. Travel long distances you will have to use a fast charging station to top up your car or have an Hybrid car.
    Fast charging and long life batteries retro-fitted to existing cars.
    I’ am still waiting for my Kia Ceed SW Hybrid ordered back in early September 20, how long do you have to wait in the UK for your new car?

  2. @Peter Parkinson
    More and more street charge points are going in. In SW London lamposts are being converted to act as charge points.
    Community groups like Brighton Energy Cooperative are starting to enter the EV charging space. So we will start to see assets that we as a community can own and operate.

  3. Its time that the Government realises that pure battery powered vehicles are not enough to power all of them. For those without a driveway and a charging point, or who live in a crowded city, public charging points are not the solution as you cannot leave the car charging overnight. Part of the solution is to fit EVs with a fuel cell powered by hydrogen to keep the battery charged; that way you can refill as quickly as petrol or diesel. We need some of the money presently going into charging points, diverted into hydrogen dispensers in service garages.


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